Grandma Popo’s Memoir

The first thought my mind grasps when I think of Popo is an image of her up on a ladder with three broken ribs picking cherries from aunt Joline’s trees in Durango as my mother and I pull in the front yard for another family reunion. Her excuse was that the birds were getting them, and it was a crime to let them go to waste. I feel like that sums her up in a heartbeat; strong, determined and downright practical.

Thinking back on the memories I gathered with Phyllis Read, also known as “Popo” was a challenge, seeing that most of the time we spent together was when I was a child. We did a road trip through the Everglades and swam with dolphins in Florida. She came out to Hawaii once and took Cynthia and I on our first helicopter ride around the island; one of my favorite experiences to date. As I wrack my brain for more specific details of our adventures I realize the most memorable snip-bits of her that have stayed with me is our past laughter, our endless card games, her sound advice and those comfortable prolonged hugs she dishes out when meeting after some time apart. I think of what an incredible gift giver she is, and how influential the first gift I can remember receiving from her changed me. My first carry-on roller suitcase. I had no clue at the time how a black bag with wheels could inspire so much curiosity of the world, I would think to myself, “I can go anywhere now, I’m prepared”.

The last time I saw Popo was in Austin, while visiting grandpa before his passing. Her life advice to me was simple and direct, “Keep traveling and spend your money on as many experiences as you can.” I have done just that and plan to stay on such course. Thank you for creating my Roro nickname and always bringing a smile to my face, Love you.

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